BarTor, the first Android based Torrent application was recently released and is available in the Android market for $2.99. While I am sure there are many potential positive uses for BarTor, this for-sale application enables copyright violators to misuse content much easier than ever.
The program allows a user to take pictures of DVD barcodes with their mobile phone, then the program finds the movie title associated with the barcode, and sends that information to a uTorrent P2P client running on the user's desktop computer. Your computer then searches, and downloads a most likely pirated copy of that movie, available from a Torrent enabled site.
Search and discovery are critical elements for content viewing and purchase. Now, with BarTor, a quick trip down the aisle of your favorite video store, with your Android camera at hand, enables you to add an element of physical discovery that heretofore was clumsy. I am not sure how great an impact this will ultimately have on the amount of content piracy suffered by the industry (I would bet not much for the BitTorrent audience), but I do know that continued advances in User Interfaces (Boxee), blending of the mobile and fixed worlds, and downward pressures on broadband, storage and computing prices will only dial-up the pressure on content owners and their virtual distributors. It seems as if they are now only a breath away from the morass newspapers and print magazines find themselves in.
For those who wold like a demo, here it is in action. Ironic to see this paid application being used to download content, via one of the most infamous pirate sites, Pirate Bay.
The product demo was posted two weeks ago and already has 121,000+ views.